Prevention of cervical cancer? of Manchester ’00 Laser (taken from http://www.e-laser.org) a purple flower, some famous woman, maybe actress et voila, the campaign against cervical cancer is ready. Or better prepared, indeed pre-packaged… but by whom?
The statistics report that there are about 12,800 European women dying each year for cervical cancers whose cause appears to be the human papilloma virus (HPV) or human warts virus (also known as warts or rooster crests) that is transmitted Sexually.
There are about 13 types of this virus that have been linked to the generation of cancer cells. Tumors of this kind are curable at 100% if special time screening is made. In December, a European Women’s Association was established in order to make political pressures for the adoption by European health systems of HPV screening systems (European Women for HPV testing,) together with the most Traditional PAP smear test.
In Italy, the initiative for the adoption of the HPV test is sponsored by the Ministry for Equal Opportunities and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and collects the accession of many Italian women ‘ famous ‘ including the presenter Licia Colo ‘, various actresses and deputies .
In December some famous foreign actresses such as Liz Hurley, Carol Vordeman and Caprice joined the battle for the adoption of the tests. So far so good, even better. We will not be the one to quibble over the importance of the whole campaign, and we would not even have the competence.
But there’s a ‘ ma ‘. An investigation of the weekly Observer (the newspaper coming out instead of the Guardian on Sunday) revealed that behind the entire operation lurks a clandestine campaign orchestrated by a multinational, the Digene, operating in Maryland (United States).
The Digene has recently developed new genetic systems for HPV screening and would of course be among the first to benefit from the possible adoption by European health systems of HPV mass screening systems.
The value of his actions could gain enormously. According to the British newspaper, in December an anonymous personality who had received the letter of the association had been suspicious to such an extent as to investigate who hid behind his identity, noticing that his address was nothing more than the box of a post office near the European Parliament in Brussels.
The letter was signed by a certain Sara Johnsson, an employee at a public relations agency known as Burson-Marsteller (whose seat is close to the post office) and also one of the most active in the lobbying campaigns in the European Parliament.
The executive director of Burson-Marsteller, Jeremy Galbraith, confirmed that Burson-Marsteller operated on behalf of the Digene from 2001 and that the multinational company is one of its most ‘ important ‘ clients. The game has held up however for a short while and the whole affair is over in the newspapers.
The lobbying technique used by Digene is not even that new. He always refers to the Guardian’s columnist who in technical jargon deals with ‘ third party technique ‘ (in Italian we could call it the third party technical) and that works: the multinational contacts a public relations agency.
The agency is responsible for activating and stimulating a campaign on behalf of the multinational. The campaign is based on the constitutions of fake pressure groups ‘ from below ‘ and perhaps represented by some famous person. It usually works.
We repeat, indeed we underline, that the HPV test is of paramount importance for the control and prevention of cervical cancer. We don’t say that, most of the doctors say that.
The problem remains that today-with a private management of the new screening systems and partly monopolistic by some biotech companies-the prevention of uterine cancer becomes a morsel too appetizing for some (cynical is to say the least) Multinational.
A representative of the Digene defended the company’s work by pointing out that ‘ we always make sure that our operations are transparent and we openly say which campaigns we finance ‘. And indeed on the site of the association the name of the Diogenes appears, although nothing is said about the work of the ‘ Digene Corporation ‘ and the fact that it would be among the first to profit from the diffusion of the tests.
While instead-as a result of the article-in the English section of the website it is said that ‘ we are currently contacting our supporters in the United Kingdom, so that ‘ they will give us confirmation of their support ‘.